December 23, 2009
More aid coming for International Airport

More technical and financial aid has been secured for the construction of the international airport at Argyle.

Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, at his press conference last Thursday, announced that, among other things, more than twenty professionals will be coming here to lend their expertise to the construction of the airport, which is expected to be completed in 2012.{{more}}

These professionals will be coming from Venezuela and Cuba, the prime minister indicated.

These arrangements were made over the weekend of December 12 while the prime minister was attending a meeting of ALBA in Cuba.

“I met with the Ministry of Construction and there are technical persons who we are going to need. We’re going to have 15 new high level persons coming.”

“From the IACC (Civil Aviation Authority in Cuba), would be coming eleven professionals who will come to assist us with the airport project from 2010 into 2011.”

“I held discussions with President Chavez and Foreign Minister Maduro and other officials of the Venezuelan Government,” the Prime Minister added.

“There is a very good package for the airport and for financial support which we will hear about which is to the interest of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.”

“I want to say that President Chavez remains deeply committed to the construction of the international airport at Argyle and for the strengthening of relations.”

Dr. Gonsalves also indicated that over 40,000 tonnes of cement will be bought from the Cuban Ministry of Basic Industries for airport works.

According to Gonsalves, a US $2 million dollar grant that had been promised to this country by the Iranian Government was transferred to the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Embassy in Cuba for transfer to this country.

The prime minister said that approximately 30 per cent of the earthworks at Argyle has been completed, with another 35 per cent to be done by the end of 2011.

“But you don’t have to finish all of the earthworks in time to start the terminal building. And by the end of 2011, naturally everything would be finished with the earthworks. We should be ready with all the other works by the middle of 2012.”

These other works were referred to as ‘big ticket items’ by the prime minister.

These include the airport drainage system, the covering of the Argyle River, the construction of the sea defence and a fuel landing area.

“This airport business is a complicated matter, and look at the progress we have made thus far.”

“It is happening before our eyes and there are people who are wondering and asking ‘Is it really happening?’.”